If you’re tight on space (and time!) then a herb garden is a great way to grow your own recipe ingredients. But what are the best plants to grow and how should you plant them?
We’ve put together this great how to guide so you can create a herb garden of your very own. From huge raised beds with rows of crisp leaves to a few small pots on a windowsill, herb gardens are the most versatile way to add colour and scent to your backyard.
Choosing a spot
The best part about starting a herb garden is you can choose anywhere to put it! If you’re in a top floor apartment or don’t have any garden at all, you can still grow herbs on your windowsill in tiny pots or even a slim trough-like window box.
The two things you need to be sure of though is getting enough sunlight and making sure the soil is well drained. Try to find a spot in your garden that gets the sun all day long. If you’re in a courtyard or a walled garden, mount the pots higher up on the wall so they are in the sun for longer periods.
If you’re kitchen window overlooks your garden (and more often than not it will) think about putting your herb garden just under the window or within easy reach so you can snip herbs and add them to the pot straight from the garden.
Preparing the soil
One of the simplest ways to make sure your soil is ripe and ready for growing herbs is to add compost. If your soil is in pretty good condition, then just sprinkle some compost straight onto the ground and then mix it in with a fork.
In sandy or clay areas, you might need to dig in large amounts of compost to make sure you have enough nutrients and minerals. For small pots, just buy a bag of topsoil and mix in some good quality compost.
Types of herbs
This comes down to a matter of taste, there’s no point growing acres of rosemary if you can’t stand the stuff! Pick herbs you like and would east normally. If you’re a pasta fan, then plant out some basil to add to meatball dishes or chop up in a Bolognese. For lovers of lamb, a mint plant is one of the easiest and most fragrant herbs you can grow to make a mint sauce or even just mix in with some boiled new potatoes.
Oregano, chives, sage and dill are also among the most commonly grown herbs. You can either nurture them from seeds or even buy a plant or cutting from a supermarket then pot it out.
Caring for your herb garden
Water it well, at least every other day. And harvest your herbs regularly to make sure the herb grows quickly and strongly.
Don’t forget, you can dry or even freeze your herbs so you can make sure you’ve got enough flavours stored up all year round.